Place Value: Vocabulary

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SWBAT use math vocabulary to describe place value concepts.

Big Idea

My students will be working hard on place value for this unit. I want to ensure they have a strong grasp of the terms tens, ones, digit and place value.

Rev Them Up

10 minutes

Some math terms are easier than others for first graders to incorporate into their vocabulary. Tens, ones, and digit are easier for them to understand because you can show them examples of each.  They can be presented as physical objects with base-ten blocks and foam numbers. It is more difficult for them to understand the concept of the value of digits; it is more abstract and you must show them examples of what it is. The Common Core Standards do not expect first graders to be able to recite definitions of math terms. However, it does expect them to learn the subject vocabulary and use it to explain their thought processes. Learning the subject vocabulary will help them build towards MP6 by using the vocabulary to communicate ideas to others. Students need to be able to precisely explain their strategies, thoughts, and hypothesis. This makes them more proficient math students by paying attention to the details of their work. (MP6). 

I want my students to focus on four vocabulary words; tens, ones, digit, and value. I will be using flashcards provided by the Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education to introduce this vocabulary. I will print and laminate the cards to make them more durable for my students. I will discuss the word, its meaning, and ask for volunteers to use the words in a sentence. Check out our class discussion videos in the resource section.

Whole Group Interaction

10 minutes

Spelling City is a great website to use to interact with vocabulary. This site has developed vocabulary studies based on CCSS and offers impressive activities to teach academic vocabulary. You can go here to connect and explore the First Grade Math Vocabulary menu. You will get to complete more activities if you become a premium member, but it does offer free activities.

I will begin here and enter the four focus words for my lesson manually. There is a place along the left side of the screen to enter your own words. Then I will select "Play a Game." There are several free choices and I will let my kids pick how they want to interact with the website. We will go through as many activities as our 10 minutes will allow.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

My students need many opportunities to use math vocabulary and incorporate into their everyday language.  I want them to be able to express their knowledge of how the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones (1.NBT.B.2). Strong and clear communication will come from a clear understanding of the vocabulary words. For example, in this video you will see how my student was describing place value. My clip ended, but he was able to finish his task by stating he had made 70. His example portrayed his knowledge of place value and this is the concise communication you want your students to convey.

I will ask my students to either write a sentence or draw an illustration using these terms: tens, ones, digit, and place value. I will be walking around the room and checking students progress as they create their assignments. If I see a misconception, I can assist the student right then, rather then waiting until the next day when I am grading. For this assignment, I can see a student understanding what a word means, but possibly matching that definition with the wrong word, so it would be easy to catch that mistake and help them correct it.


5 minutes

It is time to sum up the key points to our lesson and close out our lesson. I will ask my students to turn to their neighbor and tell them about our vocabulary words. I will call them out one at a time and provide 15 seconds for them to apply their knowledge of the words with one another.

Students, turn to your neighbor and tell him or her:

  • What digit is in the ones place in the number 16? What is the value of that digit?
  • What digit is in the tens place? What is the value of that digit?